It wouldn't mean much to the Red Sox or the Yankees. Or even the hated Dodgers. But the San Diego Padres completed a sweep of Colorado on Sunday that lifted them into a tie with the Rockies for third place in the National League West.
Given the Padres' extra-long disabled list and relative lack of depth, moving into third is no mean feat. The Rockies swept home-and-home series against the Padres earlier this year.
It was the Padres' first home sweep of the Rox in seven years, giving them something to savor as they took Monday off to travel to Philadelphia to start their last multi-team road trip, a 10-game challenge that will include series in playoff-bound Atlanta and Pittsburgh after three against the Phillies.
A highlight of the series sweep was that catcher Nick Hundley, celebrating his 30th birthday Sunday, got the big hit -- a bases-loaded double in the seventh that broke a 2-2 tie and decided the 5-2 victory. "They are a quality team that we held down for three games," Hundley said afterward. "I don't think it happens too often to a team like that."
The Padres continue to get big hits from outfielder Will Venable (who leads the NL in slugging since the All-Star break) and rookie Jedd Gyorko (17 homers), and solid pitching from starters Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross and recent addition Ian Kennedy as well as closer Huston Street, who notched his 29th save in 30 chances Sunday.
On Monday, Street was named National League Player of the Week. Street, 30, was 1-0 with four saves in four opportunities in five games
Utility man Jesus Guzman, who drew a bases-loaded walk Sunday, has 13 runs batted in as a pinch-hitter, tops in the majors this season. The Padres' team record in 19 (Jerry Turner in 1978).
Meanwhile, much of the Padres news continues to come from the disabled list. Outfielders Carlos Quentin (right knee) and Cameron Maybin (wrist) had surgery last week. Catcher Yasmani Grandal is rehabbing from surgery for a torn knee ligament, and all report doing well.
The Pads have a handful of young pitchers in various stages of recovery from "Tommy John" elbow ligament surgery. Left-hander Cory Luebke is tossing from a mound again. Joe Wieland hoped to pitch competitively in the fall league, but recent elbow discomfort has shut him down for a couple weeks. Casey Kelly, who had surgery in the spring, is on a longer timetable.